Debt seen as motive in killing of Kapampangan beauty contestant, BF

BODIES RECOVERED. Personnel of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) inspect the site where bodies of Kapampangan beauty queen Geneva Sarita Lopez and Israeli fiancé Yitshak Cohen were exhumed.
BODIES RECOVERED. Personnel of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) inspect the site where bodies of Kapampangan beauty queen Geneva Sarita Lopez and Israeli fiancé Yitshak Cohen were exhumed. CLTV36 photo

CRIMINAL Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Major General Leo Francisco said on Monday, July 8, 2024, that debt was the reason behind the killing of Kapampangan beauty pageant contestant Geneva Lopez and her Israeli fiancé Yitshak Cohen.

In a press conference led by Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. in Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police (PNP) presented the two alleged masterminds in the killing of the couple, former policemen Michael Guiang and Rommel Abuso.

Guiang and Abuso were dismissed from police service in 2020 and 2019, respectively, due to absence without official leave.

Abalos said three more alleged suspects in the murder case, Jeffrey Santos, alias Don Don and alias Junjun, were also under police custody.

Francisco said the surrender of alias Jun Jun was the key to the identification of the suspects.

“Siya (Junjun) ay nakosensya, lumapit siya sa CIDG at naglahad siya nung mga nangyari noong araw na yun,” said Francisco.

(Junjun felt guilty, so he approached the CIDG and recounted what happened that day.)

Junjun served as the driver to Guiang.

“Si Guiang ay may isinanlang lupa kay Geneva at gusto nang bawiin ni Geneva ang lupa… dito nagsimula sa motibo na ito ang pagpatay sa magnobyo na ito,” he added.

(Guiang had a piece of land entrusted to Geneva, who now wants to reclaim it... This motive sparked the killing of this couple.)

Francisco said Guiang refused to give Lopez the land and instead told her that someone was interested in buying it.

He said Guiang asked Lopez to go to Capas, Tarlac to meet the supposed buyer of the land.

“Sinabi ni Guiang na may buyer din nung lupang sinangla niya at ipapakilala nga niya kay Geneva itong si Abuso as buyer. From that point, nagkita sila sa Barangay Armenia at binaril ng dalawang dating pulis na ito ang magkasintahan. So makikita niyo, it’s a planned activity. Before sa aming imbestigasyon ay nag-usap si Guiang at Abuso tungkol sa gagawin nila sa magnobyo na ito. So there was that plan of killing itong magnobyo na ito. Ayaw ibigay ni Guiang yung lupa na isinangla niya kay Geneva,” said Francisco.

(Guiang said he had a buyer for the land he pawned, and he intended to introduce Abuso to Geneva as the buyer. From that point, they met in Barangay Armenia, where these two former policemen shot the couple. So you see, it’s a planned activity. Before our investigation, Guiang and Abuso had discussed what they would do to this couple. So there was that plan to kill this couple. Guiang did not want to return the land he pawned to Geneva.)

The bodies of Lopez and Cohen were exhumed from a quarry site in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Capas, Tarlac on Saturday, July 6, two weeks since they were last seen.

Charges of murder will be filed against the suspects. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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